Chahar clinches last-ball drama!
What a magnificent victory for Chennai. Ravindra Jadeja top class with bat and ball and Chennai are top of the table. After the situation last year, what a comeback. Just stand up and applaud #WhistlePodu #CSKvsKKR pic.twitter.com/IVK3KtHjVE— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 26, 2021
What a final over by Sunil Narine, but it winds up being in vain. Sam Curran's horror day ends on the first ball with an ill-fated charge clocked to long-off where Kamlesh Nagarkoti, on as a sub for Andre Russell, takes a catch. More problematic is the fact that Curran failed to cross Jadeja, putting new batter Shardul Thakur on strike. After a dot, he clips a three through fine leg to level the scores. After one failed heave off his pads, Jadeja misses another slog sweep to be given lbw - as the DRS review by Jadeja stays with the on-field call - leaving the No. 10 Deepak Chahar to face the last ball needing one run to avoid a Super Over. And he manages to pull it off with a heave over midwicket. The ebbs and flows in the last 10 minutes were incredibly dramatic, but CSK come out on top in the end to draw level on points at the top of the IPL table once more alongside Delhi Capitals.
Jadeja may have tripped up just at the finish line, but with bat and ball he swung the match for CSK. A tremendous performance by him. It may not look as statistically impressive as some of the other contributions on the day but he shows again that he is worth his weight in gold. That's it from me on this match. Flip over to the live feed for the second half of today's IPL doubleheader between RCB and Mumbai Indians taking place at Dubai.
The true Jadoo
From 24 off 10 with four wickets in hand, Ravindra Jadeja has turned it into 4 off 6. A slower ball goes devastatingly wrong for Prasidh Krishna as Jadeja heaves him over square leg for six. Searching for yorkers the rest of the overs, Prasidh doesn't get a single one right. Full in the slot, the next ball disappears over the long-on rope. Prasidh can't pitch the next two balls and a pair of low full tosses are flayed over point for consecutive fours. The pendulum swings back toward CSK yellow.
Morgan has had to be creative with his options since Dre Russ left the field limping and they have almost all come off. What looked like a straightforward proposition for CSK, 40 off 24 with seven wickets in hand, has turned into calamity. Moeen Ali falls to Lockie Ferguson in the 17th, slapping a catch to long-on. It brings Dhoni to the crease to join Raina as Varun Chakravarthy is given the ball for the 18th. In the space of three balls, both old pros are back in the pavilion. Dhoni hasn't lost any of his zest for a tight two and puts Raina under pressure trying to pinch a pair to long-off but Rahul Tripathi's relay to Chakravarthy catches Raina well short on the second. Two balls later, Dhoni is foxed by a googly and walks off fuming after the stumps are lit up. Morgan is trying to will his team to victory despite being short-handed without Russell heading into the finish.
A moment taken, and one missed
Ambati Rayudu stunts some of the momentum built up by Gaikwad and du Plessis with a failed charge to Narine, flailing and missing to be bowled cheaply in the 15th. Andre Russell is struggling in the outfield with what appears to be a leg injury issue, so Morgan opts for Venkatesh Iyer to bowl his first over of the day in the 16th and creates a runout chance off his own bowling as Moeen Ali's push into cover is denied sharply by Iyer with Suresh Raina stranded halfway down the pitch from the non-striker's end. But Iyer rushes a throw that sails over the top of the non-striker's stumps with Raina five yards out. Raina survives on 8. CSK need 40 off 24.
The forties flourish
Both openers have now fallen but not after getting CSK into a commanding position. One ball after smashing Russell for six, Gaikwad falls to a leading edge trying to flick him through midwicket as the ball floats to cover in the 9th. And now Faf du Plessis has also departed, flaying a short ball from Prasidh Krishna off the toe out to deep cover in the 12th for a theatrical but safe catch in the end. Both Gaikwad and du Plessis pass 40 without kicking on to something bigger. But they've set this chase up very well for CSK.
Gaikwad takes on Narine
Ruturaj Gaikwad has bullied Sunil Narine for four and six near the end of the Powerplay. He uses his feet to loft the Trinidadian down the ground and KKR are off to a commanding start in reply. It goes to show how poorly Rajasthan fared in their Powerplay yesterday as well.
Curran? Not as good...
The selection gamble hasn't paid off for Dhoni. He wanted to give Dwayne Bravo a day off but absence is definitely making the heart grow fonder with the way his replacement has performed. He's had a wicket overturned for being the second bouncer in the over followed by a free hit for six. He was the only bowler to get bashed around by Andre Russell. And now he gives up 19 in his last over mainly at the hands of Dinesh Karthik. A first-ball six over square leg followed by another boundary before Ambati Rayudu does Curran no favors by refusing to have a shy at the stumps from extra cover with Karthik a good eight yards short on a sharp drive to the ring. Karthik gets back on strike and ends the 19th over scooping him through fine leg for another boundary. 0 for 56 in four overs for Curran. That won't be going up on his Instagram stories later today.
That over has taken KKR past the 150 mark, which was more than enough for Delhi Capitals on this same strip yesterday. Karthik finally perishes in the 20th for 26 off 11 balls edging behind an attempted yorker from Hazlewood. A near calamitous collision between Shardul Thakur and Faf du Plessis converging at long-on and long-off results in a last-ball boundary to end the innings as KKR end on 171, blitzing 44 off the last three overs. A lot of good with the ball in that innings from CSK, especially from Shardul and Jadeja, but plenty of bad at the death has undone much of that work.
Shardul too good
He's started the day with a wicket maiden and now caps his four overs with the scalp of Dre Russ. The Jamaican had teed off on Sam Curran a few overs earlier but the boundaries started to dry up before Shardul Thakur turns the tap completely off bowling a full length ball that cramps Russell trying to clear the leg side and results in an inside edge dragged onto the stumps. Shardul's figures might look modest, 2 for 20 in four overs, but he's been a standout today.
Tripathi misses out on a fifty
One shot away from notching the landmark, Rahul Tripathi loses his shape to the disciplined Ravindra Jadeja. Growing slightly frustrated having collected just singles in recent overs, he drives the first ball of the 13th to extra cover where Rayudu dives to cut off a run. Tripathi decides the orthodox route is no longer good enough and tries a reverse next ball, and pays the price for it. Jadeja zips this in flat outside off and it skids on past the shot to kiss off stump. Tripathi is fuming as he walks off and starts playing all sorts of shadow batting shots that he'd love to have played instead of the one shot that cost him his innings. Superb work from Jadeja on the day. 1 for 21 in four overs and a just reward for building up the pressure to produce that release shot which failed Tripathi in the moment.
Fancy footwork Faf
I don't know the last time Faf du Plessis messed up a relay catch at the boundary. If there was a brand ambassador of such catches, it would be none other than him.— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) September 26, 2021
Eoin Morgan uses his feet to come down the track to Josh Hazlewood for an attempted chip over long-on. But Faf du Plessis responds with some even more nimble and artistic work on the boundary with his feet. He takes a catch at head height, does the standard fare 2021 flick above his head before regathering his balance stepping outside then back inside the rope before clutching back onto his self-relay. Morgan doesn't bother waiting for the third umpire confirmation. Never in doubt for Faf.
More third umpire drama
Sam Curran bounces out Rahul Tripathi on a failed attempt to uppercut the left-armer over MS Dhoni as a toe edge is held behind the stumps. But standing umpire Chris Gaffaney asks for some assistance on video review and the side-on camera angle shows the ball comfortably clearing Tripathi above head height. Despite the toe edge, it's the second short ball of the over from Curran and a no ball is called. Tripathi makes the most of the reprieve on the free hit, smashing this over wide mid-off for six.
In the last over of the Powerplay, the third umpire is into action once more as Venkatesh Iyer is given out caught behind driving at Shardul Thakur. Iyer gives a few gestures to his non-striker partner Tripathi before going for the review and it's a very foolish one. Not only has Iyer contributed to the runout of Shubman Gill, but he's now burned his side's review for the batting innings. He was playing well away from his body, there was a clear noise. It could only have been an edge which Ultraedge confirms on replay. Iyer is acting like the most shocked guy in Abu Dhabi. Just wait until he gets back to the dressing room because a frosty reception will be enough to cool down all the players and fans at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
DRS to the rescue for Gill... Ayyy yaar Iyer!
Action-packed first over of play! Shubman Gill powers a pair of boundaries, then is given out lbw five balls into the match and reviews immediately as it looks and sounds like an inside edge onto the pads live. However, it's overturned for a different reason. Replays show the ball passing the bat and the double noise was the bat thudding into the pad before the ball. But the impact was high above the knee roll and ball-tracking shows the delivery passing over the top of the stumps.
One ball later though, no third umpire intervention is needed as Gill gets sold out by Venkatesh Iyer looking for a single into midwicket and Ambati Rayudu shows no mercy with a direct hit at the striker's end. Nick Knight on TV feels there was no run there and that Gill has run himself out. I strongly disagree. Rayudu had a long way to travel to his right to field that ball, at least five strides and was lumbering to cover the ground as well. Had Iyer committed to it, he would have made the single, but Iyer was ball-watching rather than trusting the call. Gill wound up running about 26 yards in the end after turning around more than halfway when Iyer decided to go back after initially motioning like he was committed to the run. Gill was out by two yards and gives Iyer a steely look while gesturing his displeasure from his knees before walking off.
No champion dancing for CSK today
Dwayne Bravo is being rested according to MS Dhoni due to workload management with a tight back-to-back, that too in the daytime heat of Abu Dhabi. So Sam Curran takes his spot in the CSK XI. No changes for KKR as Eoin Morgan wins the toss and chooses to bat first. We saw how difficult chasing was yesterday on this same ground for Rajasthan Royals against Delhi Capitals and Morgan will be hoping to replicate what Delhi Capitals did yesterday batting first.
Can CSK keep pace with Delhi Capitals?
It's been a two-horse race at the top of the table throughout much of the season. Delhi Capitals pulled two points in front yesterday with a dominant victory in Abu Dhabi but now it's Chennai Super Kings' opportunity to see if they can match them stride for stride at the same venue. Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders are looking to break a four-way deadlock on eight points and create some separation for the last playoff position.